I’ve watched the Flint water crisis unfold like everyone else. To be sure, it’s horrific. The people responsible for causing and perpetuating the disaster deserve to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The victims deserve treatment and compensation. Most important, they deserve recognition and an apology.
As empathetic and outraged as I am, I can’t help feel like this issue is the perfect one to point out the utter hypocrisy and lunacy of the exact opposite reaction of our country to mercury in vaccines. For really, it’s quite simple their position:
Lead in water. Outrage! Mercury in vaccines. Fine!
CDC would lie about the safety of water? Of course, they would! CDC would lie about safety of mercury in vaccines? NEVER!
Apparently that’s where the CDC draws their moral line in the sand, we’ve determined. Water? Meh. Vaccines? No way!
Although sarcastic, the following would seriously be how the Flint water crisis would be framed if the lead had been discovered in vaccines instead. Or rather, how the world would respond to it if we considered water as sacred as vaccines.
Clearly, for whatever reason I can’t figure out, we don’t. Because as far as I can see, none of these things have happened to the folks involved in bringing this disaster to the world’s attention. In fact, it’s been the exact opposite.
If we treated lead in water like mercury in vaccines:
- Anyone who spoke out about his or her concerns regarding lead in water would be labeled “anti-water”. This label would follow them forever, used to discredit their position, discredit them personally, and come to be defined as “pro-death”. For water is life, its defenders would claim, and any criticism of water is the same as being against it. It would apply equally to all citizens, parents, scientists, journalists, and celebrities that voiced their concerns.
- These same “anti-water” people would be told they aren’t qualified to know what lead poisoning is, looks like, or what levels could be dangerous. If they didn’t specialize in toxicology or water safety, they have no credibility and can’t be taken seriously.
- The same type of lead allowed in the water would have been banned from dog water, tree water, seed water, and contact lens solution for toxicity over two decades ago.
- The Water Industrial Complex (WIC) would be given the funding and authority to determine if they in fact had done anything wrong. Then they would hold a secret meeting to discuss their internal findings; brainstorm how to handle them, and send the data off shore or destroy it so no one could replicate their work.
- The CDC would admit they allowed for the WIC to accidentally triple the amount of lead in water, and that it is precisely then we saw an explosion in the symptoms of lead poisoning in those who got the water happened, but after years of self-investigation, would officially claim it a coincidence. They would then ask the IOM to confirm it who would then ask that no one over study the subject again.
- Years would pass where the WIC would waiver, not really sure if lead in water is bad, but not really sure if it’s good either. Some of their studies would have found lead to be neuroprotective…it makes you smart, gives you good fine motor skills, and prevents autism. But some would have found it causes tics. They just don’t know. Eventually, within a decade, they would determine the former is the answer. It’s good for you. It’s safe. And it would turn out; leaving lead out of water is dangerous to the water program, and therefore all of us. Their oversight error was a blessing in disguise.
- Victims of lead poisoning from their water would have to go to water court. The water industry got fed up with being solely liable for safe water in the 1980’s and demanded liability protection from the government. They got it. Now a tax is on all water bills to fund the court. If someone is hurt, he or she can ask the WIC to use their own science, studies, and lawyers to determine if he or she did get hurt, and in the rare case he or she won, pay himself damages. Also, if they did win, they would have to promise to never speak of it if they wanted their award. The case would be sealed.
- In the same court, thousands of alleged victims of lead poisoning and toxic water would be grouped together in one big lawsuit. If all didn’t have it conclusively caused by toxic water, none would. Except one. She would be pulled out and compensated on the side. Only the WIC would say she didn’t have lead poisoning from water. She had an underlying condition that resulted in the features of lead poisoning after being exposed to the water, but she didn’t actually have lead poisoning and the water didn’t cause it.
- Anyone compensated for lead poisoning from water would be considered acceptable collateral damage, for water saves lives. Some people have to die or get hurt so more can live. If that means a bunch of people get lead poisoning, children included, so be it. Furthermore, no family that loses a child to lead poisoning may be exempt from being forced to drink the same water the rest of their lives. Humanity trumps family.
- As people started buying filters for their homes and/or not drinking water, a PR campaign would develop to shame them into compliance. First, the multi-million dollar inventor of a water system approved by the government for household use, who has no expertise in lead whatsoever, would write books about the safety of water and the dangerous people who say lead in water is bad. He would warn everyone against filters and alternative sources of water, claiming it unnecessary and dangerous.
- The same campaign would start a hashtag called #watersaveslives. They would have billboards too. Victims of lead poisoning from water would be reminded everywhere they go they don’t matter.
- People who presented with the symptoms of lead poisoning after drinking the toxic water would be told it’s a coincidence. Furthermore, they would be told they should not treat it and sent home with a prescription for behavioral therapy. It’s genetic, they’d be told, and something they simply didn’t notice before in their families. Around forever, they’d insist.
- Parents who decided to treat it anyway would be accused of not loving their children, as they are, and dangerous fools who use snake oil.
- Chelation would be written about in the media as dangerous, foolish, and unnecessary. The FDA would storm offices that used it to treat lead poisoned children and shut them down.
- Children that got better through chelation would be said to have never had lead poisoning to begin with.
- Hillary Clinton would tweet “The sky is blue. The earth is round. Water works. Give your kids water.”
- The Obama Administration would ask the media to stop covering the story. At the same time, President Obama would give a state of the union address warning against the high levels of lead in the environment.
- The WIC would convince the world the type of lead in water was not actually toxic in the amount present. They would also claim the dose made the poison (although they would never study what that dose actually is) and that actually; it’s the safe kind of lead we find in water.
- After years of controversy, the WIC would pretend to have everyone’s best interest at heart and begin to phase the lead out. However, it would remain in the water of 50,000,000 households with pregnant women and children. Even so, we would constantly be told it was gone from the water supply.
- A whistleblower from the CDC, one of the leading scientists on lead in water, would call the father of a lead poisoned child, admit he felt deeply ashamed of covering up the data that proved it causes damage, and share thousands of documents showing how and why the CDC did it. He would text a fellow doctor whose life had been ruined by the CDC’s lies to apologize. He would secure the leading whistleblower attorney in the country and tell Congress he wants to be subpoenaed. But nothing would happen. The media wouldn’t cover it. Everyone would dismiss it. Congress wouldn’t care.
- All droughts would be blamed on “anti-water” conspiracy theorists, and every year, there would magically be another drought. Each time the media would pit angry parents worried about not having water against parents who have spoken out about its safety. The WIC would also be presented as the victim of the whole situation, these poor, dedicated water people just trying to do their jobs and save lives, and these irresponsible, conspiratorial water consumers who won’t let them.
- As less people agreed to use the government’s water, legislation to remove the option to use it would sweep the nation. The powerful water lobby, particularly in democratic states, would win. No parent would have the right to choose to drink their water or not if they wanted any water. The water lobbyists would dance in the aisles of the capitol buildings when they won the vote, convinced they were saving lives. Yes, there is lead in water, they know. But it’s the safe lead. They’ve proven it. And they’re done dealing with people who disagree. You simply don’t have the right to distrust them, their science, or their water any more.
Every single one of those things has happened regarding mercury in vaccines.
This, is in spite of the fact mercury is a minimum of 500 times more neurotoxic than lead, the kind found in vaccines created in a chemistry lab for the expressed purpose of being MORE toxic that methyl mercury, proven by science to leave the blood faster and get trapped in the brain twice as much.
Regardless, it remains in “trace amounts” in vaccines to this day, and in full dose amounts in 50,000,000 flu shots now recommended for all pregnant women and children.
I can only hope I live long enough to watch our descendants shake their heads in confusion at how stupid we were, and at how this position, that lead in water was outrageous but mercury in vaccines was safe, simply defied logic.
Julie Obradovic is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism. Her book “An Unfortunate Coincidence: A mother’s life inside the autism controversy” is due this fall from Skyhorse publishing.